Where does Arteta rank among Arsenal’s great managers?




Supporters, obviously, support.   Changing the club one supports is not an option, no matter how badly your side is doing.  One might stop going to some of the matches, but in essence, the support of the club is still there, and most of us will go to enormous lengths to stay in touch with “our” club.

I remember, for example following the end of the first double season on short-wave radio, my having moved (for reasons that will not become clear at this point) to Algiers.   I did actually manage to see the Cup Final on Algerian TV, but otherwise, it was short-wave radio – and if you are of an age where “short wave” means nothing, let me summarise it by saying “And it’s Radford…. [crackle, interference, fade, crackle] and so its a free kick and…” and so on.

But if changing the club is not an option, criticizing the club certainly is, no matter how illogical such a situation is.  The manager is useless, half the team are useless, I can see it, and why can’t the manager see it?  That sort of thing.

However, the problem is that the number of really good managers who can not only see what is wrong but do something about it is very small.   And the amount of time clubs are willing to give a new manager, has noticeably decreased in recent years.

The longest-serving manager in league football in England is … Simon Weaver at Harrowgate who has been in the job for over 14 years.  In terms of the current Premier League the longest is Jurgen Klopp who is approaching eight years at Liverpool.  During that time he has won the League, FA Cup League Cup, and Champions League, each once.  So one trophy every two years.  A report in Football 365 said recently that he felt it was about time to leave.

Arteta joined Arsenal in December 2019, which means he has had three full seasons at the club, and won the FA Cup once – although we would give an honorable mention to coming second last season.  But in total terms it is 0.33 trophies a year).

But how long should a manager be allowed to stay if success isn’t forthcoming?   Although Arsene Wenger couldn’t deliver another league title to Arsenal after the unbeaten season, in his last five years at the club he won the FA Cup three times, but clearly for a number of supporters that was not enough.

In his 12 years at the club Wenger delivered 10 trophies (three league titles and a record-breaking seven FA Cups), and a lot of that time was with funding highly restricted because of the stadium move.   That gives us a total of 0.83 trophies a year.  Arteta is currently on one every three years (being generous and not counting his first half-season).

The second longest-serving manager Arsenal have had was Bertie Mee and he had three trophies in ten years (Fairs Cup, FA Cup, League).  (0.33 a year).

George Graham was with us just under nine years and delivered six trophies (0.66 a year).   Tom Whittaker (who came after Chapman) lasted eight years and like Chapman sadly died in office, and he delivered three trophies (0.38 a year).

Terry Neill was there for six years and produced one cup win (0.16 trophies a year.  

And then, continuing to work down the list of managers by the time they were at the club, we come to Herbert Chapman.   He was with the club for eight complete years and as you probably know, Chapman passed away part way through a title winning season, so that gives us 0.38 trophies per season if we only count complete seasons, but if we did count Chapman’s final but incomplete season, that figure would rise to 0.44 trophies – and I think we should as this was clearly his team and they were way ahead of the rest of the field by the time of his passing.

So pulling this together we get…

Manager Trophies Trophies per season
Wenger 12 0.83
Graham 6 0.66
Chapman 4 0.44
Whittaker 3 0.38
Arteta 1 0.33
Mee 3 0.33


Arteta has won one trophy in three seasons.   A trophy this season would take him up to 0.5 trophies a season – above Chapman.  Two trophies this season would take him to 0.75 trophies a season.  Behind Wenger, but not by much.

7 Replies to “Where does Arteta rank among Arsenal’s great managers?”

  1. What does it look like if you include Community Shields? Arteta has 2 I believe and Arsenal have won 19 or so. Maybe it isn’t a real trophy but you have to be successful to play in that game. I also have to admit that this years win over Man City was incredibly satisfying.

  2. Different strokes for different folks. Under Wenger, certainly in the early years, we were positive , attractive and a pleasure to watch . It was a revelation following the Graham pragmatic years .The one nil to the Arsenal song was no coincidence. We all knew that once we had got ahead it was all uphill for those trying to level things up.
    Wenger introduced power and pace but still had Graham’s defensive wall , it was a match made in heaven. However when time and the players began wearing out although bringing in good players we never had that assurance of previous times .We sat at the top table but never looked like winning the big title , we flattered but always fell short.
    I often ask myself that had George been the manager that night in Paris what would he have done . I don’t think he would have taken off Pires as players like Marwood , Groves and Limpar were part of his philosophy , but who would have gone maybe Hleb or Eboue ?
    and I think that once Henry had got his ticket to Barca , Bergkamp would have been on and I think things would have been different . I loved Henry but that night I thought that when Pires went off , he packed it in and spent much of the match pretty static moaning at his teammates. Maybe he should have gone for Bergkamp
    When I look back at my time at Highbury following Crayston Swindon and Wright , the Mee era was a breath of fresh air then a period in the doldrums before George took over. Mee broke the team too quickly I felt and George strangely for a touch player like himself bought an on field discipline and a very astute tactical nous.
    Then after the disgrace that removed him , I believe scapegoated , as he was not alone it all went quiet until Wenger . His first period was incredible but the Emirates came along and the doldrums began to return .
    Now we have Arteta playing a style that Wenger no doubt approves of but has incorporated much of the toughness of Graham. Hopefully this amalgam can lay the European bogey to rest . I can’t help wondering if Arteta has cast his eye over the successful years and is borrowing a bit from all of them. Lets hope so and that his percentage goes up and the new spirit he has engendered carries on for a few years yet.

  3. porter

    “We sat at the top table but never looked like winning the big title , we flattered but always fell short”

    For 10 years Wenger spent nett zero, that’s ZERO on transfers. Somehow you have either missed that, choose to ignore it, or put no relevance on it.

    Either way I find that statement extremely odd.

    “Emirates came along and the doldrums began to return”.

    Doldrums? Speak for yourself. Even without actually lifting a trophy we were still one of the most beautiful teams in the World to watch. Now if you solely equate enjoyment with winning trophies then fine. Personally I don’t. Nor do millions and millions of other fans that watch and enjoy their team without EVER winning a thing. I like to think there is more to it than that. I was, and still am, extremely proud of those 10 years and still think the whinging boo boys and Wenger out brigade were an utter disgrace.

    Maybe that’s just me.

    I actually think Wengers achievement of maintaining top 4 status whilst spending that big fat ZERO was a bigger achievement than the previous ‘successful’ seasons. It was nothing short of genius, and is the period in Arsenals history that has actually set us up for where we are now, and the security we should have for the foreseeable future.

    If Wenger had chosen not to be part of the Emirates stadium project and moved on, or stayed for a couple more years with the capacity to at least spend something, he may, in fact almost certainly would of won a couple more trophies, before eventually moving on to one of his many suitors. Luckily for us he fell in love with my club and decided to stay, sacrifice his chances of picking up trophies, and built us a better future.

    I for one will be eternally grateful.

  4. Even without actually lifting a trophy we were still one of the most beautiful teams in the World to watch .

    Sorry I always played to win , which is why I admired George Graham ‘s time. Looking good is all very nice but driving home 150 miles after a loss is not my preferred journey and like many others , I won’t claim millions and millions , 3 points is what I want from matches anything less and I am not happy.
    It was the way I was bought up to play and now in my dotage it’s the way I watch.
    I was never one of the Wenger out boo boys that offend you so much but I do believe that he carried on too long . I don’t believe in finding reasons that are not on the pitch , you do and that’s your right however had he gone to one of his suitors in the Spanish capital and found that the Catalans landed the title I think he was well aware that the trip may have been short lived and staying in London was a better bet..

  5. Theo Walcott retires.

    Thank you Theo. A wonderful player. More importantly a wonderful guy.

    I will always have a place for you in my heart. You served us well.

    All the best for your retirement.

  6. @Nitram,

    Mr Wenger may have chosen the rocky path, yet he has left a legacy that will last.

    – Wengerball. I have only another named art of play that comes to my mind including a manager, which is Fergie time : a description of how to cheat out opponents. Guess you already know which one counts for me

    – Colney and a youth organisation that is one of the best in the world. A real conveyor belt for the first team that keeps on producing talent

    – so many good players who became great playing, and many great players who became legends under his care. Not just stars who were stars. No, players nurtured and developped. And many players who may have had that one moment in time, but that moment in time was so important to the club and came from his trust.

    -the record of consecutive CL qualifications in a row for any manager

    – the record of FA cups for any manager (and with only one club)
    – the record of CS cups for any manager

    – a club’s identity that still now is emmeshed with his and probably will be for long.

    – the Emirates, on time and on budget

    – and as you pointed out. A decade with zero net spend.

    Can’ say that of other managers who are so famous for titles. Have you recently looked at the state of MU and the football they play ? Or Chelsea ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *